You slipped on liquid on a grocery store floor, or you may have tripped on the curled edge of a store’s entrance mat. You were injured and want to know if you have a personal injury case.
The property owner is not automatically on the hook for your injuries just because you were injured on their property. The property owner is only legally responsible for your injuries if you can prove that they were negligent.
PROVING NEGLIGENCE IN A CALIFORNIA SLIP & FALL OR TRIP & FALL CASE
California Jury Instruction CACI No. 1003, “Unsafe Condition,” sets forth the law in premises liability cases involving an unsafe condition on property, such as liquid on the floor, a curled edge of a mat, etc. CACI No. 1003 states that to prove negligence, you must prove that:
- The condition on which you slipped or tripped created an unreasonable risk of harm;
- The property owner knew or, through the exercise of reasonable care, should have known about its existence and;
- The property owner failed to repair the condition, protect against harm from the condition, or give adequate warning or notice of the condition.
APPLYING THE “UNSAFE CONDITION” JURY INSTRUCTION TO COMMON SLIP & FALL OR TRIP & FALL SCENARIOS
If You slipped on water in a grocery store aisle? You have no idea how the water got there, how long it had been there or allowed to accumulate. You have no evidence that any store employee knew about the liquid on the floor, or any evidence to suggest that a store employee should have known about it. This is by far the most common slip and fall scenario we get calls about from potential clients. Verdict: no case, or worse a defense verdict!
It is possible and thus not a strong case for the plaintiff if a store customer walked down that aisle just moments before you did and spilled that water on the floor. It’s unreasonable to expect store employees to have spotted the spill before you happened upon the liquid and slipped.
Or let’s say you slip on water in the freezer section of the grocery store. Turns out the water was leaking from a broken refrigeration unit. The store knew the refrigeration unit was broken, had ordered replacement parts, but in the meantime had failed to put out any warning cones or signs. Verdict: The store would be at fault in this scenario because it knew about the dangerous condition and failed to give adequate warning/ notice.
If you were injured in a slip and fall or trip and fall anywhere in the North Bay on someone else’s property, you should contact Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC to discuss whether you have a case.
Call us for a free consultation at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507.